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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past January Frank and I were out mid morning five blocks from
home. There was a light rain and wind and the temperature was right around freezing.
I feel the same way about this type of weather as a horse does.
Give me the barn.

Frank doesn't seem to mind it much and prefers it over 75 degrees and bright sun. So we are out.

I am not especially happy and light hearted. My glasses are blurred with mist which compounds my balance issues with the goutish big toe,
arthritic hip and the sidewalks are sneaky dangerous. It's wet everywhere for sure, but there are random places of invisible icy spots.
My neighborhood is not exactly flat walking either. The sidewalks are often 4-5 inches higher on one side than the other and I've
learned to switch up which side of the street we walk so my legs can even out.

We are generally out for 90 minutes to a couple hours twice a day, but 45
minutes of this hypothermic crap has me about done. I just want to get in.
I'm wishing we didn't walk this long. I'm wishing I had a better rain shell.
I'm wishing I didn't have to pee. I'm not liking the present moment. I'm
not anywhere near the present. I'm at least one time zone from the present

10 more minutes and we'll be in. Towels for my dog and me. Dry clothes. Hot lunch.
We get to an intersection where we almost always go straight ahead because
if we turn right we likely encounter Nala, who's usually tied up to tree in her front yard mostly unsupervised and prone to charging.
She's not out today and in a moment I decide to turn right and go past and let Frank sniff this rarely sniffed block.

We pass by Nala's unoccupied ambush place and near the top of the block Frank alerts.
I can't see what's got his attention, but it's something on the otherside of the street.
We move forward a bit more and then I hear it faintly.

A woman has fallen off her front porch steps. She's down, but sitting up on the lowest step.
We cross over and find her very alert, unable to move her left leg, but not
experiencing much if any pain. She can move everything else fine, but the not leg.
The next 40 minutes are a jumble. She's 80 years plus and barking orders at me... " You gotta find Yoda! Yoda's run off! Let me hold your dog. Go find Yoda!"

She can't hold Frank, so I use the carabiner on my key chain to clip his leash
around a tree and go around back and find tiny Yoda and put her in the house.
The woman definitely wanted her dog out of the rain first.

The woman relaxes a little now and is cooperating. She doesn't appear to have any spine or head injuries and
I make the decison to lift her from under her armpits and carry her backwards up a couple steps and into her house.
Everything will be easier and warmer and dryer inside.
Inside, she insists I call her daughter ( living a few minutes away) before I call 911. She's misplaced her cell phone, but directs me to a rotary dial phone on the wall in the kitchen.

Calls are made and her son in law arrives before the paramedics.
I attempt to tell him what happened, but he's immediately on his phone
with his wife... he's more pissed off than anything. I guess he was having an
"I told you this would happen" moment.

The paramedics arrived and while they did their stuff I found some paper and wrote down my contact info.
I remember thinking the family might want to sue me because I moved the woman. Funny that thought.
Fortunately, that hasn't happened.

Frank and I left with the paramedics. He was pretty wet by then, but we were just a few minutes from home and dry towels, a hot lunch and a nap.

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295 Posts
I want to read write beautifully! And the story had everything I love in a story, animals, and a situation where someone needs help, and human kindness, and a description of the surroundings that makes me feel as though I am there! So much so that it made me want to get up and make myself another cup of hot tea.

However, I realize this is what really happened to someone, and I hope the lady is now all healed up and able to move around as before. Too often once an elderly person had a fall with an injury such as this, recuperation is a hard road for them. And oftentimes the loss of their mobility goes hand in hand with them losing everything else, their pets, their home, their independence!

Do you know how she is doing now? She is so lucky you took your dog for his walk despite the miserable day, and that you happened to be a kindred spirit understanding her need to have her little dog out of the rain first!

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Wow. What a story. I am so glad that there are still people like you in the world who will stop to help someone in need. So many people don't want to get involved nowadays it seems.

You and your dog did a very good deed for the lady... and her lil dog! Who knows what would have happened to the little dog if you hadn't have showed up at that moment and helped her??? Especially since it was raining out!

Thank you for sharing your story here...and for helping this older lady! I am sure her family is grateful for your kindness, even if they didn't express their gratitude to you at that moment.

I hope you gave Frank a ton of treats and extra loving for his help when you guys got home from your crazy unexpected rainy day adventure.

PS. You are a fantastic writer!!! IS this your profession???????

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74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for reading, Gals. I'm happy you enjoyed the short story and Little Fox your comment about having a cup of tea... I don't know what to say...:D

I don't know how things worked out for Joyce.
We walk by, from a different angle ( it's a corner house) almost everyday and I haven't seen her or Yoda.
A couple times I've seen the son in laws truck and once there was a woman in the backyard.
Joyce hasn't died. I check the obits every so often.

I'm sure the family is grateful we happened by when we did. That they never contacted me isn't really important.
It would be nice to know how she is, but I imagine the family was pretty busy with hospital visits, arranging a situation for Yoda,
extra work looking after Joyce's home (snow shoveling, picking up mail, paying bills) and I'm guessing that there
were probably hard discussions about nursing home/ retirement communities.

I only met Joyce the one time, but she gave me the impression of a woman who wouldn't leave her home for the Shady Rest without a fight.

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If you like, you could try leaving a card for Joyce in her mail box with a note for her family, that you are thinking about your neighbour (Joyce) and would love to hear how she is doing.
It is possible they might have lost your phone number during all that was happening, or maybe they don't want to bother you! I imagine it would mean a lot to Joyce to know, that the kind neighbour is worried about her!

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Happy ending to this story. Yea!

Frank and I were out for the 5 O'clock Bark this evening ( obscure 101 Dalmatians reference, Disney animated version) and we ran into Joyce's daughter out with little Yoda.

I had never met this daughter, but I recognized Yoda and so I introduced ourselves. The short story is Joyce did indeed break her hip on the morning she fell off her porch. She did 7 days hard time in the hospital and then a couple weeks in a nursing home type situation where she quickly grew adamant about getting "the hell outta there" and going home. The daughter was not the least bit surprised when I told her about Joyce ordering me about like a servant while she sat immobilized on the lowest step of her front porch. In the rain. With a missing dog.

I was told Joyce was doing PT and walking a supervised mile a day on some kind of tread master machine. About then, here comes the old bat herself, emerging out of the fenced back yard and onto the side driveway. She's 89 years young don't cha know and looking cute as all get out with her slim figure, grey hair tied back in a loose pony tail, prescription sunglasses, deeply faded green sweatshirt, dusty rose sweatpants and new Nike trainers.

She's off base as usual. She's supposed to remain on the deck in the backyard, but only a broken hip or chains are going keep this lady from going anywhere she gets a mind to get to. It's hysterically funny. She waves her daughter's tongue lashing off with practiced ease and wants to know what the hell is going on out here.

She doesn't remember me or even where she fell quite exactly, but does seem to vaguely recall a black dog being part of that morning.

That's about it. Frank and I have exploring to do and so we say goodbye.
May the Force be with you Joyce!

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, this makes me super happy! It can't be easy for the daughter who is most likely in her sixties herself, but hopefully she inherited the same spunk that is keeping her mom so young! :D
Thank you so much for the update.
This made me laugh, Little Fox. The "spunk" quotient was most definitely passed on to Joyce's' daughter. :rolleyes:

I'm still shaking my head in wonder over an 89 year old bouncing back from a broken hip in such stylish fashion. I got curious about the odds of a negative outcome (like dying) from a fall like this. It's 1 in 5, which is not as high as I thought. I've always had the impression a broken hip and complications afterwards were an "Adios, Grandma," message. Still, at age 89, who needs another 20% risk factor leading to death?

I found this recent article and it's actually more good news for Joyce in that the first 3 months after a fall are the riskiest and she made it past that with flying colors.

The old saying, "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch," springs to mind here. ___ Her family has had a handrail installed on the front porch... lol... I guess they know Joyce is gonna run with the big dogs, but she could use a bit of an edge getting off the porch.
(If you could see how tiny little Yoda is, the image of running with the big dogs is even more surreal. Yoda is the smallest dog I've ever seen.)

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(If you could see how tiny little Yoda is, the image of running with the big dogs is even more surreal. Yoda is the smallest dog I've ever seen.)
In that case, you undoubtedly saved Yoda's life. Tiny dogs (<5 lbs) are very fragile and could never survive a night outside in the rain.

I doubt if the Paramedics or Joyce's son-in-law would have felt very safe to Yoda if they had even made an effort to find her.

Of course Joyce wouldn't abandon her dog here at Hotel Life. She's not done yet. Bravo to you and Frank for saving Yoda and also to Joyce's family.
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